Kathleen Funchion TD supports INTO’s call to reduce primary school class size in Budget 2020
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education and Skills Kathleen Funchion said that the INTO were right to make the reduction of primary school class sizes a priority in their key demands for Budget 2020, stating that primary school classes here are the highest in the Eurozone, five above the EU average of 20 students per class.
Speaking today after attending the INTO’s briefing in Dublin on Budget 2020, Deputy Funchion said:
"Sinn Féin have consistently made the reduction of school class size a priority in pre-Budget submissions year upon year. Last year for Budget 2019 we proposed a reduction of pupil to teacher ratio by two points at primary level at an estimated full year cost of €26.8m.
"The INTO also highlighted today the critical need to increase funding for our primary level schools. Capitation grants were cut by €30 in the recession and schools have been financially crippled as result with many relying on voluntary contributions which we in Sinn Féin believe are unfair on parents who already struggle to meet the standard school costs.
"For our Alternative Budget 2019, we proposed to increase school capitation rates by 5% at an estimated €10m for the year.
"A yearly increase in capitation is essential if we are working towards a full restoration of capitation grants. These are essential for everyday running costs of schools.
"We support the INTO’s calls to focus on both primary school class size reduction and an increase in capitation rates at primary school level in Budget 2020."